Friday, July 13, 2012

The Flash #9 (Review)

This title is by far; in my opinion, the best of the "New 52".  The artwork is always stellar, and you can see in this panel to our left that Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato prove the truth of the phrase, "A picture is worth a thousand words".  Every page and every panel is like this, and then when Manapul's & Booch's scripts add more life  to the pictures.....the artwork and words come alive in your mind to form the symphonic masterpiece that is The Flash.....

Cover to #9

The issue begins with The Flash awaking from a dream from his childhood, only to find that the dream has become a twisted Gorilla City, as Grodd has just taken the throne of his Father in a battle to the death, and is consuming his brains to ingest his Father's knowledge.  General Silverback thinks he's a messenger having come down to Gorilla City with the lightning.....but Grodd smells fear, and announces The Flash as dessert!!

Meanwhile, Iris West and her 3 companions are still trapped inside the Speedforce, and hearing strange noises.  The Pied Piper wants to rejoin the ranks of the vigilante heroes, while the Police Director is afraid that thier relationship will become public knowlege.  Patty Spivot asks for a leave of absence.....which will lead to bad weather (pun intended).

Back in Gorilla City, The Flash awakens with no knowledge of who he is, where he is, or why he's there.  The Elders of Gorilla City believe he is the "Messenger", and that his arrival signals the end of their civilization.  They free him and show him their ancient prophetic cave drawings heralding his arrival as "The Runner". King Grodd; however, is not convinced that the paintings are anything but lies!

The Fastest Man Alive!!
Grodd's aggression triggers Barry's childhood memories, and helps him to regain his memory just in time to face Grodd in combat.  Grodd is powerful and fast, but Barry is The Flash, The Fastest Man Alive!! Grodd's anger brings the cave down upon him, and the Elder convinces the citizens of Gorilla City to allow The Flash to leave in peace.  Barry Allen arrives back in Central City to see that Dr. Elias and several others are protesting The Flash and superhero vigilantes.....

This issue is really about overcoming one's fear.....which isn't easy when staring into the eyes of a powerful, fast, intelligent Gorilla (just ask Charlton Heston).  But Barry Allen is The Flash, and The Flash gets things done....very quickly!!  My only question about this wonderful issue is how he returned to Central City from Gorilla City?.....was he in the same time period (i.e. the "now"), so only had to run from East Africa back to Central City?  Did he use another Speedforce portal; and if so, did he suffer the same lapse in memory/amnesia?  Did the Gorilla City elders have some "secret" to navigating the Speedforce better?  These questions may never be answered, but they do not take away from the great story and superb artwork that once again graces the pages of....The Flash!!

Manapul & Booch deliver another winner!  CITIZEN'S GRADE: IMPRESSIVE.

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